tv BBC World News America PBS November 19, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PST
>> this is bbc world news america. israeli airstrikes pushed the death toll in gaza above 100. the diplomatic pressure to reach a cease-fire amounts. >> what makes the crisis difficult and dangerous is it is happening in a region more unstable than at any time since the 1960's. >> history in the making. barack obama becomes the first u.s. president [indiscernible] pressing for reforms. >> you will not believe the scientific advance that has this dog back on his feet. welcome to our viewers on public
television in america and around the globe. the u.n. secretary-general is among those calling for an immediate end to the violence in gaza. his words come as more than 100 have been killed in the past week of fighting. the majority of them palestinians. palestinian militants have continued firing weapons into israel. in cairo, discussions are ongoing about cease-fire. jeremy our coverage from gaza. >> good morning, gaza. this was the wake-up call sent in by israel. growing up in gaza is not easy. not far away, is the rubble left by the israeli strike on sunday that killed 10 members of this
family including four children and two neighbors. they are looking for the remains of a teenage girl missing and presumed dead. this man is a relative of the dead. >> sad, may be strong. >> street are getting tougher, more solid. when they tell the parents of a boy, he will grow up for revenge. >> during the last of years, the conflict has been overshadowed by dramatic changes elsewhere in the middle east. the differences between the two sides got sharper. what makes this crisis difficult and dangerous is it is happening in a region more unstable than
at any time since the 1950's. hamas released videos of rocket launches. the events of the last few weeks have silenced those who said they had forgotten how to fight israel. he said a land invasion be a political disaster for israel's prime minister. >> if they want a truce, we have demands and conditions. >> the border towns were quieter than gaza but still an ordeal. israel says it wants an end to rocket fire through cease-fire or military action. >> the endgame is clear. we want a situation where the civilian population of israel knows that no longer has to live in fear of incoming rocket fire from gaza. that can happen one way or another, but that is the goal we
seek to defend our people. >> in gaza, israel attacked the building used by journalists. the raid killed a senior miti official in the -- a senior media official in the islamic group. another strike came in down the road. civilians on both sides need a ceasefire. political leaders in gaza and israel want to show that this was worth it. bbc news, gaza. >> there are diplomatic efforts to break a cease-fire. most of the attention is focused on cairo where leaders have gathered. our diplomatic correspondent has been assessing the chances for success. >> both sides point to civilian casualties. israel says it was an upsurge in hamas rocket attacks that force
them to respond and protect their own people. israeli attacks have killed more palestinians. hamas says that shows who the real aggressors are in the long- running conflict. the search for a cease-fire is urgent with voices from western capitals calling for a truce. >> i am pleased israel has held back from a ground invasion while negotiations go on and also that the rate of rocket attacks on israel has fallen for whatever reason over the last 24 hours. these are positive developments. it remains a desperately serious and difficult situation. >> and israeli ground invasion of gauze it is not ruled out. any repeat of 2008 would push casualty figures up fast. the focus is on the egyptian capital tonight we're ceasefire talks are taking place.
the u.n. chief has flown in to add pressure for a truce and short term fix as a first step. a southeast -- a cease-fire would be an achievement. it may leave israel feeling safe r but can only restore the status quo and will serve -- solve nothing long term. israel has fewer friends in the region and gaza has more than when they fought a battle parker years ago. what are the prospects for the ultimate prize, a final settlement one day? >> i think the prospect of having a final settlement in the next few years is unrealistic. we have tough negotiations on one side and armed clashes on the other. we will have to see the new map being redrawn after the arab
spring. >> the immediate challenge is clear, it to stop the latest spilling of blood or risk fighting on the ground -- even harder to stop. >> for more on the international efforts to bring an end to the crisis, i spoke with a former state department official who is now at the atlantic council. how optimistic are you about the talk of an egyptian-progress cease-fire? >> there are talks now between israelis and people from hamas in cairo carried out by egyptian intelligence. this is the same channel former president mubarak used before the egyptian revolution. these are serious talks. there were things in the press today that the israeli prime minister had rebuffed other attempts to mediate because he wanted to focus on the egyptian channel.
the secretary general of the united nations has arrived in cairo. i would say there is hope that this channel will produce a ceasefire, although it is not certain yet. israel continues to prepare for possible ground the jet -- ground invasion. >> what would be the objective which the ground invasion? things have changed since 2008. >> there have been many chapters in the struggle between hamas and in israel. the most recent began last week with the killing of the hamas military commander by israel that unleashed this barrage of rockets. i think perhaps israel is trying to neutralize hamas and islamic jihad, their ability to reach televisa and jerusalem with missiles. israel would want to stop that in general. i think with the prospect of
possible military action against iran by israel or the united states, israel fears these capabilities would be used against them. they would like to try to eliminate them militarily or neutralize them by getting islamic jihad to make an agreement with israel that is somehow validated by egypt and other parties important to these groups. >> is the conflict still about israel's desire for security versus the palestinian need for statehood? is it more than that? >> that of course goes on. i think israel is focused on iran trying to build up the nuclear capability and what israel might feel it has to do to prevent that. the prospect that there would
be attacks launched on israel. >> what role of the americans playing? not much evidence of them. >> the role seems to have been marginal. president obama and secretary clinton have been on the phone with world leaders. the channel in cairo is an intelligence channel. there might be american participation. that is not something we would hear about because it does involve participation by a high- level american official weekend see. >> thank you for joining us. >> rebels in colombia have called a truce at the start of peace talks with the government. they have become -- begun the first face-to-face negotiations in a decade aimed at ending conflict. they will also focus on the distribution of land. that was the main reason behind the establishment of fark in the 1960's. the visit lasted only six hours.
today president obama made history touching down in burma. after meeting with the nobel peace prize winner, he delivered a message that the country needs to continue democratic reform. some complain changes are not fast enough. >> the first american president to visit burma touched down in a country that for 50 years shut itself away from the west. he came to praise reform and make a bigger point to china. america is expanding influence across asia. burma is now being courted as a friend. mr. obama made his way through which has become the obligatory itinerary for visiting dignitaries who have come here since change began. he met the reformist president and pushed him to release more political prisoners. then it was on to the house that
was once a prison for the pro- democracy leader. what has become customary word of caution about the process. >> the most difficult time in transition is when we think success is in sight. we have to be careful we are not lured by in the rosh -- by a mirage of success. >> the body language was warm. president obama voiced concern about ethnic violence. his visit comes against the backdrop of some of the worst clashes in years. thousands of the muslim minority have been driven from their homes in clashes with the buddhist majority. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. >> that was what inspired his
passionate words in the cradle of democracy movement. >> there is no cause for violence against innocent people. they hold within themselves the same dignity you and i do. >> the theme of this speech and the visit was tolerant. " your country will be stronger because of many different cultures. you have to seize the opportunity and recognize that strength. >> this is a landmark occasion. it is happening because president obama has faith in the democratic transition. he knows the most difficult negotiations lie ahead. there is hope. nobody is taking success for granted. >> for more on his historic trip, i am joined by the former
u.s. state department spokesman. has the president rewarded the burmese rulers with a visit? >> it is a huge reward. a lot of human rights organizations argue with secretary clinton's historic visit earlier in the year, they have already been awarded. i think the president is trying to create momentum so when burma reaches a to pinpoint and cannot go back. the current message is they have done a great deal. no one could have envisioned this transformation two years ago. there is still much more to do. >> he visited while the ethnic strife is going on. is there a risk he went despite the fact is on going? >> there is a risk. this trip was about the success -- this is an example of the real success of his engagement strategy.
he has had some successes and failures, but clearly this is the crowning achievement of engagement in the last four years. it is not just about burma. there is rebalancing and attention. the president called attention to the fact that burma sits in a strategic location with two emerging powers as its neighbors, china and india. it is about a country in transition. the message he gave to burma is in the city has given to the middle east as well. >> how much of the visit was about trying to contain china and show if the u.s. will be a player in the region? >> it reinforces the dynamic of the administration with burma, cambodia, vietnam, welcoming and encouraging the united states to be engaged in asia as a balancing force against a rising china.
>> you work at the state department during negotiations. what was driving it then? >> it is a globalized world. when you have countries in isolation, they are capable of doing nasty things. burma has a relationship with korea. there was concern in the first two years burma was giving significant assistance to north korea and undercutting the strategy of isolating the country. being able to flip burma puts additional pressure on a country like north korea. >> how does the u.s. measure progress toward democracy? what does it do if berman stepped back? >> now the united states has diplomatic relations with burma. it can achieve some leverage. this is a work in progress. continuing attention will be required. they have released some political prisoners, not all.
it is still conflict that has to be resolved. this will require a lot of time and attention. it is still in the early process of fundamental change. >> you are watching "bbc world news america." decades after it hit the big screen, the musical is aiming for a major blow up the box office. -- blow at the box office. more than 200,000 syrian refugee children could die because of harsh winter conditions according to save the children. the most at risk are those that have fled to neighboring countries where they live in makeshift shelters. but these are some of the lucky ones. having escaped the fighting in syria, they face a different challenge. in jordan, the winter can bring
miracle dangers with heavy rain and subzero temperatures. thousands of children do not have the necessary shelter or clothing to ensure survival. >> they love their country. they are displaced refugees. they did not -- they came in summertime. they have nothing for winter. they need to be prepared for winter. >> save the children warrants to hundred thousand old rubles children could be among those that struggle the most. many have fled over the syrian border in a variety of direction. there are 2 million others displaced in the country. more are expected to escape. this was the border in northern syria today. it is those that do not reach the care of international agencies for whom the danger is greatest. save the children says some
refugees have not been able to watch for more than a fortnight because the only water is ice cold. that brings concerns about sanitation and disease. inside syria, fighting continues to rage. the 400,000 serious -- syrians are officially rafters -- registered in refugee camps. they expect that number to double by the end of the year. the humanitarians cost of the conflict grows even further. >> this next story is nothing short of amazing. imagine you could reverse paralysis in dogs by injecting them with cells taken from inside their noses. that is what scientists in england have done with animals that have suffered spinal injuries. the hope is that humans will one day benefit from these treatments.
our medical correspondent has details. >> this is jasper before treatment. a spinal injury meant his back legs were paralyzed. this is jasper today. the transformation is remarkable. his owners are delighted. >> before the event, he was a crippled the dog. he had no rear leg function. he dragged his feet. he could not move them generally. now he can stand and walk. he can make a stab at running. he does bunny hopping. >> researchers removed specialized cell from the lining of his nose which promote the growth of nerve tissue. these were grown in a dish for several weeks and then injected into his damaged spine. the nerve connections grew enough to allow his front and rear legs to reconnect.
the repair was not complete. the signals to the brain were not restored. that explains why he still wobbles when he walks. more than 20 dogs were treated. most saw some improvement. this research is great news for jasper and other dogs prone to spinal injuries. could this technique played a role in helping reverse paralysis in humans? scientists funded by the medical research council say this study in animals should give the green light to a trial with humans. they went -- they warn that it may not work as well. >> there are many similarities, but they are not precisely the same. the significant effect we have seen in dogs may not have the same degree of efficacy in
people. >> in the quest to reverse paralysis in humans, cell transplants are just part of the answer. last year, he was fitted with electrodes in his spine which enabled him to stand. all of these research ideas are still in their infancy. the pioneering success with dogs is at least a step in the right direction. >> just amazing. can the box office hit "rocky" be repeated with a musical? a warning. there is some flash photography. >> the actor may look different, but the tune is instantly recognizable. the trailer for the new version gives a glimpse of how the franchise has been adapted to
the stage. the english script has been translated into german. rocky" in german] ♪ >> the fans waited patiently in the rain to see the a lister behind the movie. they were not disappointed. sylvester stallone produced a musical with the brothers. they were full of admiration for the man who created the fictional sports figure. >> sylvester stallone is a rocky. without him, nothing happens. he has given birth to the idea. we have watched -- we have had lots of fun during the corporation. we're convinced it will be successful. >> the big screen actor had
gushing praise of his own. >> i am so happy. it is amazing they are here. they are giving birth to something that is a first on the planet. i am really proud of you guys and hamburg. >> the musical tells the story of rocky balboa realizing his potential and winning his romantic interest. whether it pulls in the crow's remains to be seen. if it can replicate the success of the film franchise, sylvester stallone will have another knockout on his hands. >> the musical springs today's program to a close. for all of us, thank you for watching. we will see you back here tomorrow.
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